The Best Restaurant & Bar Openings In Sydney (2021 Edition)

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / December 22, 2021

Despite the pandemic, Sydney scored a bunch of new restaurants and bars in 2021 and here are our highlights!

We couldn’t be more proud of our industry! Despite the pandemic, Sydney restauranters rose to the challenge to open new restaurants and bars across the city. From fine dining spots, neighbourhood restaurants, fish shops and wine bars, we’ve gone through our article archives to find our favourite listings of 2021.

January


Sunday, Potts Point

If you’re craving a delicious wholesome feed or hearty roast dinner, Sunday in is the ideal neighbourhood venue. The restaurant is headed by Chef Ryan Blagrove and the menu celebrates the long-standing family tradition of gathering with loved ones for comfort food on a Sunday. Find out more here


Re, South Eveleigh

Matt Whiley created the world’s first permanent no-waste bar in one of the precinct’s 19-century railway engineering workshops. The fit-out uses recycled and repurposed building materials, while the menu gives new life to produce that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. Find out more here

February

Bistro 916, Potts Point

This French-inspired bistro is owned by hospitality heavyweight Dan Pepperell (Restaurant Hubert and Alberto’s Lounge). The menu is seafood-focused while remaining true to French bistro classics. As for drinks, the wine list showcases a range of drops from some of the best vineyards across France and Australia. Find out more here


Fish Shop, Bondi

The team from Fishbowl opened a delicious new concept in Bondi. It delivers a fine meets casual dining experience, straddling the line between a restaurant, bar, and old-fashioned fish shop. Expect a counter-service restaurant sling sustainably sourced seafood paired with vibrant salads and modern vegetable dishes. Find out more here


Bar Elvina, Avalon

Whether you’re a local or have a little further to travel, Bar Elvina is worth the visit. The interiors are almost enough reason to swing by, capturing the relaxed vibe of a Mediterranean dining spot. The menu is seafood-focused featuring oysters, raw starters and larger seafood dishes. Find out more here

P&V Merchants, Paddington

For fans of all things funky, wild, and maybe a little bit sour, you’ll be familiar with P&V Wine Merchants. The new bottle shop and bar is the place to score a bottle of vino and sip it on-site in their alfresco courtyard out the back. Find out more here

March


Pistou, Newtown

Pistou is Newtown’s new French-meets-Mediterranean 50-seat, eat-in deli, and wine bar. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s the perfect place for a long lunch or to pop in for a cheeky vino and nibbles. Designed to offer rustic charm, the venue has a welcoming vibe and is reminiscent of a homely space somewhere in the French Provence. Find out more here

Rara Chan, South Eveleigh

The team from Rara Ramen has been taking Sydney by storm and the opening of Rara Chan was no exception. The restaurant is a micro ramen joint with a focus on a special kind of ramen known as “tsukemen”. Rather than hearty bowls of soupy ramen, this option is dipping-style ramen that offers cool, thick noodles and topped served separately to the broth. Find more here


Jung Sung, Chippendale

Jung Sung celebrates traditional Korean cuisine with a whimsical, modern, and sophisticated offering. Head Chef InSup Kim is at the helm of the kitchen and his food philosophy is to shift the perception of Korean food. To do just that, Kim fuses authentic Korean cooking techniques with modern methods using local Australian produce and botanicals. Find out more here


Porcine, Paddington

This French bistro has taken over the former Micky’s Cafe space on Oxford Street. Expect a share-style food menu of French bistro classics and a drinks menu of classic cocktails, craft beer and a specially curated wine list. Find out more here


Sammy Junior, CBD

The crew from Maybe Sammy swung open the doors to their new espresso and cocktail bar in the CBD. This new spot takes you from day to night with a breakfast menu, lunch menu and delicious drinks for all occasions. As you’d expect, Sammy Junior serves expertly made cocktails. Find out more here

April


Hinchcliff House, Circular Quay

In the heart of Sydney city, a bunch of hospitality heavyweights restored the 1860’s wool store. Grana on the ground floor is both a bakery and an all-day eatery serving an Australian interpretation of Italian dishes. In the basement is a bar called Apollonia, paying homage to the patroness of The Godfather novel. Lana, the upstairs restaurant is the perfect spot to gather for guaranteed good vibes, communal tables, share plates and fantastic cocktails. Find out more here


Wine Room, Manly

Head Chef James Evangelinos and his team from Manly Greenhouse transformed the middle floor into a Basque-inspired tapas lounge. The shelves are stacked high with 400+ bottles of international wines, and the menu is filled with Spanish-inspired share plates. Find out more here

May


Lucky Kwong, South Eveleigh

Kylie Kwong, owner and chef of the celebrated Billy Kwong restaurant in Surry Hills & Potts Point since 2000, opened her cafeteria-style eatery. Her most famed dishes grace the tables, all having her signature approach of simple food made by hand, featuring locally sourced ingredients with banging flavour. Find out more here


Lorraine’s, Waverley

Following a multi-million-dollar renovation, Robin Hood Hotel opened Lorraine’s, a European-inspired bistro located on level one of the iconic building. A custom-built charcoal grill is the main staple of the kitchen, designed to enhance the natural flavour of ingredients to create simple and delicious dishes. Lorraine’s also features a premium wine room with over 200 unique wines. Find out more here


The Barrie, Chippendale

Although Sydneysiders were quite distraught to see Chippendale nightclub Freda’s shut its doors, they were pleased with what took its place. The Barrie is the cities newest drinking hub with all of those late-night cocktail bar den vibes. Expect to lose track of time as you sip your way through the cocktail list with a backdrop of live music every night. Find out more here

June


Roxy’s, Double Bay

Roxy’s is located in the heart of Double Bay, inside the Fortis Group’s landmark known as Pallas House. From breakfast through to late evening, the vibrant space and casual bar area offer delicious food choices coupled with a compelling drinks menu. The chef cooks how he likes to eat at home drawing on Middle Eastern flavours and local ingredients. Find out more here

July


Norfolk House & Hotel, Redfern

Everyone loves a good pub transformation and The Norfolk House & Hotel has to be our favourite of the year. The courtyard has been transformed into what is now called ‘The Garden’. It was designed with the community in mind and features large timber tables for gathering and a $25,000 16-spit roast barbeque to keep the locals well fed. Find out more here

August


Wings ‘N Burgers, Waverley

Wings ‘N Burgers took lockdown comfort food to a whole new level. Executive Chef Clement Marchais combines iconic American takeaway with pub classics and presents them in a more elevated way. Find out more here


Milpa Collective Trifecta

Just when you thought Sydney couldn’t have any more Mexican restaurants, the team behind Calita Carbon, Taquiza and Sonora announced the opening of three more! The hospitality heavyweights have proved they specialise in Mexican restaurants, and Casa Mérida in Potts Point, Londres 126 in Quay Quarters and Santa Catarina in the CBD follow theme. Find out more here

September


Charcoal Fish, Rose Bay

Pioneering chef Josh Niland has reimagined the nostalgic fish and chip shop from their childhood to create a luxe new offering never before seen in Sydney. Think of Charcoal Fish as a luxury fish and chip shop serving only one type of fish, Aquna Murray Cod from Griffith in NSW. Find out more here


Frank’s Deli, Waverley

Hospitality trio Sammy Jakubiak, her husband Ben Kelly and her brother Alek Jakubiak bring something new to Sydney. The food combines the quintessential New York deli experience which a touch of European flavours to represent Sammy’s Polish heritage. There have been lines out the door each day for Frank’s Reuben and the Breakfast Sammy. Find out more here

October


Mille Vini, Surry Hills

MV Bistro & Wine Bar turned into a luxe Italian restaurant and bar within the same space on Crown Street. The venue itself has scored a major renovation with velvet drapes, brass, marble and crystal chandeliers. Head Chef Francesco Di Gioia pays homage to classic Italian cuisine from all regions. Find out more here


La Salut, Surry Hills

The Love Tilly Group and The People (behind newly renovated The Norfolk House & Hotel) combined forces to welcome a new Catalan-inspired wine bar to Redfern. The wine on the shelves, friendly hospitality and culture will transport you straight to a bar in Barcelona. Find out more here


Lola’s Level 1, Bondi

The 94-seater restaurant and bar opened within Bondi’s Pacific Building on level 1. The venue is Mediterranean in style across three sections; the bar, dining room and balcony. The menu has been split into sections but all dishes are designed to share in true Mediterranean style. Find out more here

November


Bar Tropic, Manly

Wharf Bar has been given new life after a major renovation, menu revamp and the addition of a new Mediterranean restaurant, Bar Tropic. The restaurant/bar pays homage to its sister venue on the Gold Coast, Burleigh Pavilion. Expect a Mediterranean-inspired menu boasting incredible Australian seafood. Find out more here


Ursula’s, Paddington

Chef Phil Wood takes credit for this new addition to Paddington and it has been the talk of the town ever since it opened. The menu is an interpretation of Australian bistro cuisine and it also pays tribute to Darcy’s, the former Italian restaurant previously on the site for almost 40 years. Find out more here


Shell House, CBD

After the opening of Menzies Bar & Bistro, Shell House welcomed three new spaces within the historical CBD building. Perched above the bustling Sydney streets centering the heritage Shell House tower, Sky Bar boasts incredible views of the city skyline. The Sky Bar will be joined by a world-class cocktail bar within the iconic Clocktower on level 9. In addition, the Dining Room & Terrace is helmed by the hottest kitchen team in the city. Find out more here


Il Pontile, Woolloomooloo

Il Pontile in Woolloomooloo took us right back to the Amalfi Coast with sparkling wharf views, friendly Italian hospitality and authentic Italian flavours. Head Chef Mario Percuoco brings four generations of Italian culinary techniques to the table. Find out more here


The Blue Door, Surry Hills

Paving the way for sustainability in the hospitality industry is Chef Dylan Cashman with The Blue Door. The menu is centered around their connections with local markers and growers. They have a true appreciation for everything on the plate and can share stories connected to each ingredient and their growers. Find out more here

December


Sama Sama, Barangaroo

Bae Dining, the hospitality group behind Marble BBQ is working up quite the monopoly in Barangaroo with the addition of their new waterside venue. Taking residence in former restaurant Khoi, they have given the space new life and brought Southeast Asian fare to the menu. Find out more here


Loulou, Lavender Bay

Extremely new but absolutely worth the mention since they introduced something completely new to Sydney! The venue is a French bistro, boulangerie and traiteur, all under one roof. Billy Hannigan is Head Chef executing French classics in the Bistro. You can follow your nose to the Boulangerie next door where you’ll find fresh artisanal baguettes, croissants and batards. All the while, the Traiteur offers house-made produce and meals to take home.  Find out more here

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